Thought I would share my funny and a bit embarrassing story from last week for everyone to have a midweek laugh at my expense.
Last week at Autodesk University in Las Vegas I got caught speechless while getting my shoes shined before a reception. I figured I needed to look my best. I should have done it earlier before a lunch with Carl Bass or sitting on a technology panel in front of a crowd and I will tell you why.
I went to AU with two pairs of dress shoes and both were similar in looks. I would have shined them myself but I did not have a shoe shine kit and a very nice guy was in the convention center so it just made sense to sit down for a couple minutes and get a shine and some great conversation. So I sat down and was getting a nice shoeshine done and the nice guy shining my shoes looks to me and said "sir, do you have two pairs of dress shoes". I thought "this is amazing, Vegas is full of magicians and psychics". So I asked him how did he know, he said "well you have one of each on your feet."
My brain went Pffffft.....
And at just that moment of panic an Autodesk colleague Severin Wille pops in and captures a photo of me.
Luckily in all the high profile things I did that day, not a single person noticed I was wearing two separate shoe styles. I wont be taking similar shoes to future events and not dress in the dim light morning light so fast. Now I have one shined shoe of each and they really stand out.
It is that spooky time of the year where people dress up in costumes and you guess if they are in costume, or if that is how they really look. Not many things in the office more awkward than commenting "Nice Halloween costume Kurt" and Kurt responding "what, I am not wearing a costume."
To avoid the awkward situations, why not have some fun and also help your fellow Autodesk product users such as 123D products, 360 products, 3ds Max, AutoCAD, Civil 3D, InfraWorks, Inventor, Fusion 360, Maya, Navisworks, Recap Pro and Recap Photo, Revit, Smoke, or one of the many other Autodesk products with a tip or trick?
Provide your best Autodesk product trick to fool or torture someone or a treat to help their productivity with a helpful tip or show something really cool that you created. I will with my very own personal wealth (small sandwich bag partially full of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters hidden in my closet) purchase some fun yet inexpensive gifts to gift to some of the submitters with the best tip and the funniest and most creative submissions.
Guidelines are simple to follow as this is just for fun and not a contest or official competition.
Show how to prank someone like setting their mouse wheel zoomspeed to warp factor increments. More examples were in a past blog post AutoCAD Pranks. But please make sure the tricks are non-destructive and in the spirit of fun. NO setting their UNDO command to UNDO 3 times and save the file thus making them lose work. How about code to make their computer beep when they do something like use UNDO.
Show how to do something ninja like in an Autodesk product saving time and creating nice things. Or how about a pixel treat showing something really amazing you created using an Autodesk product.
Make sure you try to keep the Trick or Treat short and simple but yet detailed enough that people will understand it. Screen captures, sample files, scripts and LISP are welcome.
Deadline: October 29th,2013
I will be the judge, jury, and executioner and all decisions made in pure fun and final.
Spread the word so we gets lots of tricks and treats to share in a series of blog posts on October 31st!
I first found this drawing years ago when it was a test DWG file for a plotter company. A couple years back Florian Römhild of http://engineers-drinks.blogspot.de/ re-drew the guide in DWG format and a few others have also modified the popular drawing like the Whisky Drinks version. I figured I would place the drawing for all to have fun viewing in AutoCAD 360.
I have seen many funny drawing files in my days and some I can’t show, but this is a classic to enjoy plotted, not stirred. What funny drawings have you seen?
I am still getting back to speed after returning this week from 5 amazing days on Cozumel Island in Mexico. Cozumel is one of the top scuba and snorkel diving locations in the world, with the worlds second largest barrier reef. I had a ladder into the Caribbean located just 10 steps from the condo where I was staying in the Northern region of the island. I found the amazing Marazul condo on AirBnB.com which was all new to me but I will most definitely use the service more often as the location was like living in a fully furnished home instead of a hotel or resort experience. There was Wi-Fi, food, even beer in the fridge. It was a great deal of fun to go snorkeling on the reef within 5 minutes. I did swim and snorkel other locations up and down the island, but honestly preferred the abundance of coral and sea life behind the condo units. I took many underwater photos using my iPhone in a special Seashell case that was rated to 100 feet depth, luckily there were no leaks.
One of the highlights of the trip was getting to see the self-contained submarine Atlantis II. I helped design and fabricate this vessel about 16 years ago while working for a large metal fabrication company in Portland Oregon. The submarine was currently in Cozumel in dry dock for some maintenance before going back to work on the reef to the delight of tourists wanting a unique experience.
I took the ferry over to the mainland to Playa del Carmen which had amazing sandy beaches where the heat and beverages must have got to me. I found myself getting my feet made baby smooth by a tank of doctor fish that were setup in a special tank at a shop along the tourist trap lined street. I can’t remember when my feet were this soft.
Alas, nothing reminds you that you have returned from a tropical location and brings you to a screeching and stinking reality more than a fist sized dead crab in your backpack. Yes, I had a dead crab that made its way into my clothes before he decided to expire during the journey home…I have already heard all the jokes on this experience.
I travel by air a fair amount of time over the years and have fancied myself a bit of a travel related MacGyver. The first real stroke of MacGyver’ness was using crushed Altoid mints rubbed in my mouth on my teeth with my clean fingers to brush my teeth and end up with a powerfully minty breath. This was to be used when you did not have your toothbrush or toothpaste handy and didn’t want to offend others with the long flight breath.
Now here is another one of my grand travel creations. This nugget came to me on a long flight. I didn’t have time to grab any of the horrible fast foods at the airport, and most flights today don’t serve meals in this day in age. I had to be resourceful to fashion something that was somewhat filling and healthy, or I could resort to cannibalism of the passengers unlucky enough to be seated near me. After being given packs of peanuts and pretzels, it hit me. Maybe it was the low blood sugar causing the crazed thoughts but I asked for a virgin Bloody Mary mix which is free when not ordered with alcohol. Now I had the spicy tomato base and then poured the peanuts and pretzels into the glass and stirred, not shaken. And voilà I had invented my own cold airline stew or what I call my Delta Airlines Margarita. It is even good with a good shot of Vodka if you feel the need.
Don’t knock it until you are starving on a flight as it is really quite good, as long as you eat the pretzels before they get soggy. The flight attendants have now started laughing as the word spreads of a mad man on some Delta flights eating Bloody Marys as a meal.
What crazy things have you come up with while traveling?
I proudly present to you my spur gear building designed in AutoCAD Architectural Desktop (ADT) r1 circa 1998 and codenamed Portsmouth. I tried to convince the Autodesk AEC team then located in Henniker New Hampshire I was a mechanical designer and had little architectural design skills. It was the warped humor of mine, but as I recall the architecture professionals were not thinking it was as funny as did I.
The office space in my spur gear building was really quite nice with each gear tooth having an office with a window and then in the center a central conference room. Frank Lloyd Wright would have been proud, ok maybe that’s a stretch. Still it was amazing that the first beta of what later became AutoCAD Architecture was able to solve the gear roof.
-Shaan NAA (Not an Architect)
A colleague of mine has to visit the eye doctor today and I sent him the YouTube video link to comedian Brian Regan’s Eye Doctor sketch. I thought I would share it with all of you for laughs so you can spit coffee, soda, tea, or water on your screen this Friday.
Don’t worry it is safe for viewing at work or by kids.
So is this a photo of me?
No it is not me, it is Gonzalo Frasca of Montevideo, Uruguay.
On the right is me in Northern Kenya recently after a nice dip in a lake full of crocodiles and hippos and a cold Tusker beer. On the left is me at Autodesk University.
So we are pretty close looking twins, and in every case showing people the photo of Gonzalo they swear it is me.
Recently while in Kenya I found out what a Hyrax is, and why they are evil and not to be slept near. A Hyrax is a small rodent looking thing that is actually related to the elephant with little small tusks.
Now here is why I call these cute unique animals evil, they have a tendency to scream at about 160 decibels from 10pm to 5am sounding like someone is being murdered. I did not get any sleep the two nights I had one near where I was sleeping. These critters were more alarming than lions roaring, hyenas evil laughing or jackals barking in Kenya at night.
So I present for your listening displeasure my iPhone recording of the Hyrax at 2am. I wanted to make him into a nice spicy little stew.
Hyrax in Kenya at 2am.mp3
(photo credit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyrax)
I recently spent a couple weeks in Kenya mostly working from sunup to sundown with Dr. Louise Leakey of the Turkana Basin Institute, Deming Yang of the National Museums of Kenya and my colleague Gonzalo Martinez.of Autodesk. I thought I might share a fun photo with you from the Giraffe Centre located just outside Nairobi Kenya before our research work in Northern Kenya began.
So here is me taking a big wet kiss from a rare female Rothschild Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis rothschildi.)
Trivia: Giraffes can have a 50cm (about 19-1/2”) long sandpaper textures tongue with a slimy grass flavored slime coating.
I am still awaiting the call from this Giraffe, but sadly she has not called me yet.
It is indeed me and my head in 3D created by the fun 123D Team.
I am going to take the model and articulate it to a real functioning candy dispenser in real-life as a 3D print.
Why? It is not to just creep out even more people, but encourage people to think about how the new technologies allow people to capture and create almost anything you can think of from the practical to uniquely fun ideas. I have found if you start showing practical examples people tend to not think about all the possible work flows and uses, but when someone demonstrates a technology using a fun crazy example it tends to get more attention and people thinking about the potential practical uses. So while you could capture your head and modify it in Autodesk applications and then 3D print it, you could also capture a historic building feature or a sculpture in 3D for a historic preservation or restoration purposes.
Give 123D Catch a try as a new version has been posted for free download. There is also a new mobile version for the Apple iPad coming soon and you can enter your email to be notified when it is available.
In the spirit of the 3.14 date being the same as the number of the mathematical constant of Pi I thought I would add my own spin of warped humor along with some cool 3D technology.
All day I have been hearing about pies key lime pie, blueberry pie, cherry pie, pot pie, meat pie, banana cream pie, and apple pies which has done nothing but make me hungry. But how about a cow pie?
I had shown this unique 3D model live at Autodesk University 2011 to illustrate a point of how easy it is to capture objects in 3D using the free 123D Catch software from Autodesk. A cow pie is certainly something you would never take your laser scanner out into the field to capture and even then you would get an untextured point cloud that you would have to create a surface mesh. But in only seconds with a small point and shoot digital camera you can capture the object in 3D mesh complete with textures and no smells.
So if you ever needed to capture something as a 3D mesh with textures where you do not need manufacturing tolerance precision then Autodesk 123D Catch would be a great option. From 123D Catch you can export FBX or OBJ files for use in a video game, video animation, or even a 3D print.
I proudly present to you the 3D Cow Pie in honor of Pi day.
A fun Friday project to share and something you can do as well. I captured my own head in a 3D model using the free Autodesk 123D Catch software which takes a series of photos from a regular camera and generates a 3D mesh. It is quite simple as long as you read the instructions on how to take your photos. Since glasses are thin featured and also have transparent glass they should be removed. The most difficult part is sitting completely still for about 2 minutes as someone takes photos of your head from different angles.
123D Catch: Capturing my head in 3D using only photos
You can see my head in 3D in Autodesk 123D Catch and the positions of the cameras as it takes about 35-40 photos to get a good 3D model. Since my hair is rather thin it calculated a funny bump on my head and the model is not closed or watertight but have no fear we will solve that easily. Once I am ready to work with my 3D head model I export it as an OBJ. I could use this OBJ in almost any 3D software and have fun with it there but in this case I want to clean up the geometry and close it to watertight so that I can print it on a 3D printer or online 3D printing service.
Meshmixer: Cleaning the Mesh
I import the OBJ into Autodesk Meshmixer to smooth areas, zip holes, and the new feature plane cut tool (thanks Ryan!) to make my head watertight and ready for 3D printing. The new in testing build is what I am using from the Meshmixer forums and moderated buy the one man band and developer Ryan Schmidt of the Autodesk Research Team. http://meshmixer.com/forum/index.php?topic=514.0 Ryan and I are in the same organization as we both ultimately report into the Office of the CTO (OCTO as it is referred to) instead of into a specific Autodesk industry division.
Of course this being Meshmixer you can seamlessly mix other OBJ objects such as a giant ear or a bunny head onto the model if wanted for the Chernobyl nuclear accident human mutation effect. Meshmixer is highly creative and addictive. You can sculpt models very easily and export to OBJ for using in another application or even STL for 3D printing. Did I mention Meshmixer is free?
I would have the latest MakerBot Replicator which has a larger build area and two heads but unfortunately I ordered my MakerBot just two weeks before the Replicator model was announced and nobody told me I was ordering an old model 3D printer. To get the latest and the greatest MakerBot Replicator I would have happily waited or even donated my Thing-o-Matic 3D printer to a local school complete with me training them how they can use it.
Some in progress photos and video from my iPhone.
I am once again considering shaving my head. One of the most obvious reasons is because my hairline is rapidly heading that direction anyways. When I shaved my head for charity at Autodesk University 2009, I got compliments on my cranial shape and it also made for some fun in Photoshop. I did maintain the shaved head for almost a year but gave up as it really does take a great deal of maintenance.
So I want to get my readers and social media friends input on the possible fate of my cranial hair cover. The poll below closes on February 29th leap day.
So should it stay or should it go?
I thought I would share a travel related experience from this week.
In addition to being late for a flight, hungry, and creating the first Airline Stew, I had opportunities to hear multiple airline announcement styles.
First I know you are just dying to hear what this “Airline Stew” was. Well being hungry I pondered what would be the most filling free beverage to mix with the complimentary peanuts and pretzels. I decided to use virgin bloody mary mix which is essentially tomato juice with hot spices and mix that with the peanuts and pretzels into a pseudo stew. It was surprisingly filling and tasty.
As a traveler you have to be resourceful and MacGyver-like.
If you have flown on an airline you have no doubt heard (or ignored) the pre-flight safety announcements and demonstrations from the crew. The language is extremely important but usually the same content over and over. This week I had flown on multiple airlines. One airline followed the standard text while the other was relaxed and almost goofy perhaps to use humor to get your attention, make you relax, or just ad some fun. Lets call them Airline A and Airline B.
Airline A takes the standard just the facts safety demonstration and announcements. Sometimes these announcements are played on video like on Delta. Delta's In-flight Safety Video
Now here is Airline B and their live safety demonstration and announcements.
“If you have an iPhone, iPod, and iPad we are impressed, but you must still turn them off now. That is spelled O F F - look it up in the dictionary, but don't Google it now.
If you do not turn off you phone and continue to text and talk we may have to return to the gate where the FAA will personally fine you $25,000 dollars. If you have that kind if money to spend you would have flown Delta.
In the event this flight becomes a cruise, please grab the flotation vest located under your butts.
If the cabin were to un-expectantly depressurize oxygen masks would drop from above. I said unexpected otherwise we would have called in sick today.
If the cabin fills with smoke, make your way to the nearest designated exit following the lighting on the floor. If a crew member approaches you naked please just ignore them.
The cabin lights are being dimmed, should you require light simply press the button with the light to turn it on. Pressing the button next to it with the picture of a flight attendant will not turn the flight attendant on.
Welcome to Salt Lake for those that Salt Lake is your final destination we welcome you, for those transferring to another airline - we don't care.
The aircraft has come to a stop at the gate - Now get out of here.”
Myself and many of the passengers were laughing but it had me thinking, was that the right tone for something so serious as safety, was it professional, did I pay more attention to the safety information. Perhaps some not used to humor or those that English is not their first language might be alarmed, insulted, or confused.
The adding of humor to these pre-flight safety instructions is not limited to US carriers.
Cebu Pacific FAs dancing
WestJet Funny Attendant & this one from WestJet
What do you think, should the business of safety instructions be a serious just the facts presentation or can it be made more relaxed and funny?
There is a Bay Area person who has struck out predicating the end of the world or rapture. He has predicated that October 21st, 2011 will be the real day after his last predicted date did not result in the end of times. Apparently best I understand it, all pure saintly people are to ascend to the heavens leaving only those sinners on the earth to rot or just party until the beer is gone. Odd thing is here I was looking at the latest Sketchbook mobile creation by my daughter on the iPad along with my family and dogs, then POOF it's just me and the cat on the couch.
I guess all the Autodesk University Las Vegas after hours parties with those wild and crazy Aussies have doomed me to eternity here on earth after the rapture. Not sure about the cat’s sins but they are furry little psychotic critters up to no good. Special thank you to Aussies Andrew H. and Sean T. for this strange predicament. I will surely miss my family and dogs, but I am really glad those stories about purgatory having never-ending Justin Beiber and Coldplay music playing were wrong.
Oh well more beer for me Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi.
I had a great time in Seattle speaking at the AUGI CAD Camp on Monday in Seattle (next Tuesday in Minneapolis). In addition to showing Project Photofly live and other great Autodesk Labs technologies I also showed a live demo of the new Project Geppetto in 3ds Max 2012.
Project Geppetto is an early technology preview available free from Autodesk Labs that allows you to create animated people in 3ds Max 2012 and 3ds Max Design 2012 either following paths or idle and look different and have different actions. This technology answers the need for moving characters in your animations instead of just frozen people of the same character used over and over in a scene. The best part is that some of the idle people appear to have zombie characteristics.
I can almost hear this character moaning “brains…”
You can even have the zombies chase your bosses head created using Project Photofly.
Here are images linked to animated GIFs so they play on all browsers.Download Geppetto 1.gif (1881.2K)
A close up of one of the people that appears to me to have been a zombie acting like they are reading an invisible book or answering a phone, while they stalk you. Brains… brains… brains!Download geppetto2.gif (14875.4K)
To be fair this is an early preview and where this is most likely headed is nothing less than amazing with textured people, object avoidance, and more.
See what a professional can do with Project Geppetto
HNTB Geppetto Test
Not a way to start the day today.
What's worse than spilling coffee on your keyboard, sneezing with a mouthful of oatmeal...what a mess. Its like a nuclear bomb of oatmeal went off. Racing to find all of it before it dries to concrete globs...
Definitely not the way to start a busy day.
I just came across a fun video showing Scott Sheppard’s 3D head created in Project Photofly used as a model for fluid analysis in the new Autodesk Labs technology preview Project Falcon for Autodesk Alias. Of course I had to upload the video to YouTube for all to enjoy.
If you watch closely you will notice the air flowing inside his head as well as in and out his ears. Amazingly powerful software tools can be used for serious design analysis as well as fun.
Scott and I have had a long running fun blog battle. below are two of Scott’s images of me.
Scott’s own words
And then there is the Google Image Search incident. In 2006 Scott Photoshopped my head on Katie Couric’s body. Imagine my surprise at AU that year when on the big screen while speaking with my boss and customers that I was naive enough to Google my name for images and at the time the top image was that image. Laughter erupted in the crowd. via Scotts posting List of Autodesk Blogs Exceeds 20
I guess I asked for it and might have been considered guilty of firing the first shot by saying Scott was the singer behind the video of my Kangaroo encounter. http://youtu.be/K86GivNXICo
Scott, its your turn.
At Autodesk we had fun with several April Fools day pranks on Friday April 1st also known as April Fools Day, but one seems to continue to be fooling people. The Project ZP on Labs. It was a great prank but is not real. In fact some internal Autodesk employees were excited by the amazing compression algorithms.
What was going on under the hood of Project ZP:
Here are couple of the April Fools pranks from Autodesk:
I hope you had some fun pranking people on Friday.
What did you see in your office, did they CAD Prank you? Budweiser Blog: AutoCAD Pranks - April Fools Jokes http://t.co/ZxRwTD9
Autodesk Labs releases Project ZP web-based compression and uncompression.
Our thinking was simple: Can we make data smaller by adding compute cycles to the compression process? We could, but if we did this on a typical laptop, it would take forever. So why not turn to the cloud? We had our Project Twitch servers already in place, so why not use them as a massive compression/uncompression farm?
So give it a try and let us know what you think. There are a set of easy steps to follow on: labs.blogs.com
“You're Designers, Hip Hip Hazaa!”
For those unable to view YouTube, here is a download of the video in HD and in Eye Shattering 3D, (and 2D where applicable) (110MB): Download McCluskeys Method_Long
I was traveling this week for presentations on AutoCAD for Mac and stopped in the Boston Apple store. I got the Apple employees to laugh by starting an old joke with a new Apple twist “A duck walks into a Genius Bar…”
For those not aware what the Apple Genius Bar is, it is the counter in an Apple store where Apple employees help you solve problems, offer advice, etc.
So I held a Twitter contest to come up with the jokes punch line. Think of this as crowd sourced jokes.
A duck walks into an Apple Genius Bar and says,
"I would have flown in but you don't have any windows."
A duck walks into an Apple Genius Bar and,
“asks for an iPad and says Put it on my bill.”
A duck walks into an Apple Genius Bar and says,
“My iPhone 4 glass quacked"